Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Courtyard house settlement 315m NNE of Botrea Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sancreed, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.12 / 50°7'12"N

Longitude: -5.6328 / 5°37'57"W

OS Eastings: 140417.543851

OS Northings: 30759.539569

OS Grid: SW404307

Mapcode National: GBR DXGC.JP3

Mapcode Global: VH05G.B71T

Entry Name: Courtyard house settlement 315m NNE of Botrea Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1953

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003072

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 365

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Sancreed

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Sancreed

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a courtyard house settlement, situated on the lower south facing slopes of a prominent hill known as Botrea Hill. The settlement survives as a single large courtyard house measuring up to 28m long by 24m wide overall. It is defined by drystone walling of up to 4m wide and 2m high, which has been bisected by a later stone field wall. There are the visible remains of a courtyard, a round room and two long rooms. The entrance to the courtyard was probably on the south west. The courtyard and a field system were first recorded by Russell in 1971. The courtyard house was fully surveyed by the Cornwall Committee for Rescue Archaeology in 1982 along with its associated field system. The field system lies to the north, east and south east of the courtyard house, but is not included in the scheduling.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-424146

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The courtyard house is a building form developed in south west England in the Roman period during the second to fourth centuries AD. It was usually oval or curvilinear in shape, taking the form of a thick coursed rubble wall containing rooms and some storage chambers. A central area - the courtyard - was enclosed by this wall and the rooms and the main entrance opened into it. The courtyard is generally considered to have remained unroofed. Excavations of courtyard houses have revealed paved and cobbled floors, stone partitions, slab-lined and slab-covered drains, threshold and door pivot stones and slab-lined hearths, together with artefactual debris. Excavations have also shown that some courtyard houses developed from earlier phases of timber and/or stone built round houses on the same site. Courtyard houses may occur singly or in groups of up to nine. The national distribution includes over 110 recorded courtyard houses, mostly on the Penwith peninsula at the western tip of Cornwall, with a single example on the Isles of Scilly. Courtyard houses are unique within the range of Romano- British settlement types, showing a highly localised adaptation to the windswept conditions of the far south west of England. Despite some later disturbance, the courtyard house settlement 315m NNE of Botrea Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social organisation, agricultural practices, trade, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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